Today the Industry Committee, the Civil Liberties Committee and the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament formally registered their recommendations to not sign the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ahead of a full EU vote in July. ArsTechnica points out it’s the latest step in rejection of ACTA (which was designed by international bodies to protect assets of content creators with punitive measures, and ratified by President Obama in 2011), coming after national-level Dutch, Polish, German and Czech disapproval.
Meanwhile the RIAA has openly accused Google of failing to move dramatically against piracy-enabling websites linked through its search results, despite Google’s recent moves to make its actions more clearly understood by adding Copyright Removal Requests to its Transparency Report. RIAA’s EVP Brad Buckles has complained in a blog post that Google places “artificial limits on the number of queries that can be made by a copyright owner to identify infringements,” and also “limits the number of links we can ask them to remove per day.” The recording industry spokesbody is thus squarely blaming Google for merely linking to sites that then themselves link on to enable piracy of music.
Speaking at AllThingsD‘s D10 conference last night, Hollywood agent and head of William Morris Endeavor Agency Ari Emanuel made a number of controversial comments that similarly blamed Google for enabling piracy by not suppressing links to piracy-related search results. Faced with a question on the matter from The Verge‘s Josh Topolosky, Emanuel seemed confused and angered that this position was analagously compared to blaming the road a burglar drove down before burgling someone’s house. Emanuel also point blank refused the notion that cable companies would unbundle content.
Earlier this month a study by North Carolina State University was the latest in a line of studies to show that piracy actually promotes sales of online content by showing torrented albums sold better than non-pirated peers. Also speaking at AllthingsD, Spotify’s Daniel Ek noted that he expected his wildly successful online music streaming service, which generates reliable income for labels and may dissuade piracy due to its convenience and low cost, was blocked from entering the U.S. by inflexibility by record labels throughout a two and a half year process.
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